Saturday, November 06, 2010

Gear Review: fishpond Tundra Tech Pack

When fishpond mentioned they were sending me the new Tundra Tech Pack to test this fall, I got all Pavlovian. Who knew I could drool so much?! And when I got it out for an overnight on the Bitterroot River near Missoula, Montana, it didn't disappoint. The Tundra Tech Pack is a great piece for short backpacking trips. Fishermen know it's a pain to stuff your fly pack into your regular backpack...and no one likes to hike in a vest with accessories banging around. The Tundra keeps everything contained in well-considered compartments.

There is enough room in the 1525 cubic inches of storage space to fit all the overnight gear you need. (But not quite enough room for more than two nights unless you're an expert at minimalist camping.) The removable chest pack can clip on to the back of the pack when you're hiking and to the front when you get to the river. And, it completely separates from the pack so you can leave the big gear at camp and just wear the front pouch while you're fishing. The backpack's molded back and internal frame make it very comfortable and easy to haul heavy gear. There's a 100 oz hydration reservoir, a d-ring to attach your net, and a loop for a wading staff. If you're a smaller-sized fisherman, you'll have to cut quite a bit of length from the tightening straps...they come long enough to fit around any fisherman's keg-sized belly. The large mesh pocket on the outside of the pack is great for letting wet wading socks air out as you hike.

There are two internal rod sleeves that are the perfect size for 4pc rods, but I don't think it's deep enough for a 3pc. I chose not to bring the rod case, just to save on weight and room...but my 3pc stuck up too high and I kept hitting the rod on branches as I bushwhacked to the river.

The fishpond Tundra Tech Pack is a great solution for anyone who likes to keep their gear organized and contained as they hike into high mountain lakes or streams. I know the picture above doesn't make the pack look like it holds a lot, but I have a one-man tent, camping pad, food, water, hat, gloves and emergency supplies in there.

(The chest pack is sold separately as the Deep Creek for $79). MSRP: $239
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